A homeowner in the 7th Ward is thankful to alive after hitting a bomb with a lawn mower.
Jamal Elhayek was mowing the lawn of the vacant lot next to his home on North Robertson Street Tuesday (June 8) when he suddenly hit something in the grass and a loud noise interrupted the afternoon, WWL reports. The noise turned out to be a homemade explosive device that had been lying in the yard. Fortunately, Elhayek wasn't hit by any shrapnel.
"Basically, I was turning this corner and was walking this way and I thought we had some wiring caught up," he recalled. "Took it out and then moved a few more feet and that's when the explosion happened."
Elhayek said the device was about the size of two softballs and had around eight shotgun shells. After his partner called 911, the New Orleans Police Department bomb squad arrived with federal agents to assess the situation, which they believe is an isolated incident. Agents ended up finding a second device, which they safely detonated.
"They did a bomb sweep," he said. "They found a second one over here, fire in the hole, boom, went off again."
According to WWL, Elhayek's family left Lebanon 45 years ago to get away from "constant bombing," so he was able to handle Tuesday's incident in stride.
"My brain always goes back to my uncles and they're like it's no big deal, what's the big deal, they're not dropping bombs on you," he said.
During what could have been a much worse situation, Elhayek is seeing a silver lining: the lawnmower still works.
"You wouldn't be able to tell a bomb went off," he said. "It means it's a great mower."